DOE launches $20 million consortium to advance US-made cadmium telluride solar cells – pv journal USA


The Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium will work towards making continued value and effectivity enhancements that can make CdTe extra aggressive on the worldwide market.

August 2, 2022

US Department of Energy (DOE) is launching the Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium, a $20 million initiative designed to make cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells inexpensive, extra environment friendly and develop new markets for solar cell merchandise.

CdTe solar cells had been first developed within the United States and make up about 20% of the marketplace for solar modules. The Consortium intends to to spur technological developments in CdTe manufacturing that can assist improve America’s competitiveness, bolster home innovation, and help clear electrical energy deployment supporting President Biden’s purpose of reaching a net-zero economic system by 2050.

“As solar continues its reign as one of the cheapest forms of energy powering our homes and businesses, we are committed to a solar future that is built by American workers,” stated U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE is proud to partner with leading solar researchers and companies to chart the future of CdTe technology, which presents an immense opportunity for domestic manufacturers to help ensure our nation’s security while providing family-sustaining jobs.”

First Solar and Toledo Solar are two Ohio-based producers of CdTe solar modules. Aaron Bates, the founding father of Toledo Solar, advised pv journal usa that the know-how has grown from a small fraction of solar tasks to the dominant supply of modules in utility-scale tasks. And with the utility-scale sector making up 55% of solar installs within the US, CdTe is nicely established within the clear energy trade. According to Bates, there are numerous causes to help CdTe and US-made solar, together with technological benefits, bankability, recyclability, provide chain stability, improved labor practices, and extra.

“To move America forward, we need an all-of-the-above strategy that propels our energy independence, lowers costs, and creates good-paying jobs. Northern Ohio has already revolutionized the field of solar technology,” stated US Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-09). Now, by means of this outstanding partnership between the US Department of Energy, the University of Toledo, and First Solar – our area will turn out to be a hub of next-generation energy innovation that’s constructed proper right here at home by Ohio’s staff.”

The consortium can be led by the University of Toledo, First Solar, Colorado State University, Toledo Solar Inc., and Sivananthan Laboratories, Inc. Toledo, Ohio is a hub of CdTe manufacturing because of the  CdTe analysis going down on the University of Toledo’s Wright Center for Photovoltaic Innovation and Commercialization, and it’s becoming that the University of Toledo will assist lead the Consortium.

“Our world requires scientific innovation to address the inefficient ways we find, produce and consume energy,” stated University of Toledo President Dr. Gregory Postel. “The University of Toledo is proud to help power the future by leading this consortium that leverages our expertise in solar energy research and commercialization and strengthens our partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and other leaders in this important and growing field.”

The Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium will work towards making continued value and effectivity enhancements that can make CdTe extra aggressive on the worldwide market. The crew’s analysis plan that features CdTe doping methods, characterizing and exploring new CdTe contacting supplies, and dealing to allow a bifacial CdTe module that absorbs mild from the back and front of the module. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will administer the Consortium, whose leaders had been chosen by means of a aggressive solicitation final yr.

NREL will function a useful resource, help, and technical evaluation heart because the consortium develops a know-how roadmap, conducts analysis to fulfill targets set throughout the roadmap, and commonly assesses the home CdTe provide chain for challenges and alternatives. The consortium goals to increase home CdTe photovoltaic materials and module manufacturing, help the home CdTe provide chain, and improve US competitiveness.

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